Locks you choose? – The New York Times
SATURDAY PUZZLE – This un themed grid by Sam Trabucco feels like it has an unexpected twist on every row and column, like a house of mirrors. I felt like that, anyway – lots of surprises and fun connections including this particular variety of pun where once you get it you wonder why you haven’t seen it sooner, or how your mind has ever led you astray.
1A: That’s what I’m talking about. A chess match makes perfect sense – what else do kings and queens have? Renaissance Faire, play by Shakespeare, DRAG SHOW. Kings may be even less well known, but they’re out there, and once I got it (after several crossovers) it all made perfect sense.
19A: A terrible mistake here – there is a couple of brothers who directed that 1994 cinematic tour de force, “Dumb and Dumber”, but the duo mentioned in this clue are the B’s in the words “dumb” and “dumber” – a couple of SILENT BS.
29A: This entry is definitely unexpected and completely impenetrable if you don’t know the original Starbuck. The “Starbucks” cafe takes its name from Pequod’s first mate, Starbuck, who most certainly WHALED (but never once drank an espresso in “Moby Dick”).
35A: This is where the cognitive dissonance comes in for me, whenever one of the builders I’ve categorized as a youngster uses a pop culture reference from my own youth in the 20th century. I wondered if KEN OLIN’s career had reached its peak when he starred in “thirty,” a hugely popular nightclub from 1987 to 1991, but he moved on to produce a ton of shows, some like it (the current example is “This Is Us”, which seems to be quite similar.)
42A: I love this fun little entryway in the center of the table for its ingenuity and the imagery it conjures up, someone trying very thoughtfully one after the other. Picking locks, you know. I thought NOOB might be “new”, because beginner is the term we use at work; same gasoline, but NOOB can also be N00B, which calls for “speakers“which tend to” pwning “.
60A: I hope you chose that answer, HOT SPOTS, instead of trying to understand some sort of anatomy adjacent to the sacroiliacs. If you are thinking of where to go dancing at night instead of where the pain will strike the next morning, I think you are young at heart.
12D: This is a start and a macabre term, assuming its probable origin is valid. An inept boxer is a TOMATO CAN, because when you knock one over, “red stuff spills out.”
25D: I have never heard of Carlos VELA, who is a current football player and Los Angeles Football Club star striker (there are too many teams and leagues in football for me to keep up with, but I hope it’s a lot of fun for football fans). This entry was previously identified as a constellation and anatomical divider like the soft palate, so this is nothing new to the puzzle. This new clue was difficult for me (of course, the old ones would have been too).
26D: Not a start, but a second appearance of this urban luminaire (which could also be present, in one form or another, in cities or anywhere with enough carnivorous pedestrians to support a business). There are halal carts and taco trucks – we even have a mobile Jamaican jerk restaurant on weekends in my neighborhood, all serving tasty STREET MEAT.
30D: As soon as the woolen sweater weather goes, the kind of sweater weather in this clue begins – whatever the season, a sweater can hang in the sauna, in a HEALTH SPA.
I did this puzzle at the same time I was doing the final puzzle for Boswords 2020. I wanted to minimize the 3 because I thought it would be fun for a final puzzle in a tournament – less kicking etc. Therefore, this one does not have a 3! It’s a fun layout to work with, and I’m happy with the cleanliness, although I would like it better with a little more pizazz.
For the first time since 2015, I think that leaves me with no conundrums on the record – work has sort of taken over my life lately, but that ‘zero’ number actually motivated me to try and get back to it. to build. Till next time!
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